Kindred Fates is a monster-battling RPG designed for a mature audience

Kindred Fates

Hot on the heels of Temtem, monster-battler Kindred Fates just launched on Kickstarter, looking to take a bite out of Pokémon‘s death grip on the genre’s market share. The crowdfunding campaign is off to a hot start. With twenty-eight days to go, it’s collected $19005  of a $50,000 goal that, based on the expansive trailer, looks to be pretty modest. The game is evidently striking a chord with lots of gamers interested in seeing more of a favorite genre, and the Kickstarter launching alongside an expansive video showing all sorts of gameplay and story elements certainly can’t hurt.

While Kindred Fates is a monster battler like Pokémon, the two do not resemble each other much beyond their reliance on a colorful and personable cast of capturable creatures. Combat takes place in real-time (although a turn-based mode is one of the team’s stretch goals), and the monsters (called Kinfolk) are sentient beings who may leave your team if you lose their trust.

The game also has an interesting way of handling type disparities. In a not-so-hidden slight at Pokémon, the developers wrote, “rather than one type being better in a fight against another simply because it deals twice as much damage, we’re trying something different.” In Kindred Fates, different elemental types of Kinfolk have different playstyles that have favorable and disfavorable match-ups against other types. For example, fire type Kinfolk are best with a “hit and run” approach, which is good against Gaia type minion-based attacks, but weak against the water type’s deep arsenal of combos.

Kindred Fates also seems intended for mature audiences. On the game’s story, developers wrote that:

“many of us who grew up with monster battle games hoped that they would mature as we did. We aim to create a game with thought-provoking storytelling, antagonists with a sympathetic cause, compelling character development, morally ambiguous decisions, and living with the consequences of your action.”

Accentuating this theme is permadeath for Kinfolk: if one of your monsters falls in battle, they’re dead. You have a brief window where you can grab their spirit and revive them, but if you don’t, they’re gone forever. The game’s trailer shows the weight behind this in a particularly emotional scene where the player character visits a memorial to pay respects to their lost Kinfolk.

There’s a lot of promise behind Kindred Fates. It is currently only slated for PC, but if it carries this momentum for long, it should pass the $155,000 Nintendo Switch version stretch goal with ease.

Nick Pearson
I'm the Reviews Editor here at Nintendo Enthusiast, and I'm a major fan of all consoles and eras.